Sony Mobile South Africa unveiled Sony’s latest mobile handset, the Xperia Z, to the technology media in Johannesburg. The flagship model features a 5-inch Full HD 1080p Reality display, a 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor and is water-resistant for up to 30 minutes.
One of the new design features that Sony is exploring, is a raised, stainless steel power button, as the company believes that it is the most important button on a device and needs to function properly.
The button is raised for easy access, and takes on a stylish design element.
The full touch screen occupies a great deal of the front display, which creates a bigger working area for users, while touch buttons at the bottom of the unit is cleverly hidden out of view when not used.
With a resolution of 1920×1080, it has approximately 443 ppi density is also dust-proof.
In terms of camera and imaging, the unit features a 13MP primary rear-facing camera with Sony’s Exmor RS sensor, and a front facing camera with 2.2MP capabilities.
Having a 13MP camera, it is capable of shooting HDR videos, which is a world-first for a mobile device. In another world-first, the front facing camera is the most powerful on a mobile device currently available.
Sony crafted the phone with a high aesthetic value in mind, and outfitted the front and back of the device with Dragontrail glass manufactured by Asahi Glass Company. The unit will be available in three colours (purple, black and white), and has been designed to blend in with surfaces of the same colour – instead of standing out.
While battery power is a major complaint of other phone users, Sony included the Stamina battery mode in the unit, which allows users to better manage the battery use. With the mode on, users can select which functions will be operational when the phone is in standby and which ones are not.
“The Stamina mode is technology that is only available on the Xperia, as there is no app for it – it’s built into the phone. They say that users press the power button to check if they have messages or a missed call about 78 times a day. That is a lot of battery power that is lost just to check a screen. For every 30 seconds that the screen is on, users lose an hour’s standby time,” said Mansoor Ahmed, Sony Mobile Product Marketing Manager EMEA.
As part of their interconnected device drive, Sony enabled the Xperia Z to make use of image mirroring technology, which means that users will be able to push visuals on their device to any television that uses the same technology without any interruption.
For connectivity the device is 4G/LTE enabled, and features NFC technology.
The NFC works in conjunction with a range of accessories available at launch, and includes NFC Tags, speakers and a range of docks.
While no solid release date has been announced, the Xperia Z will be available worldwide late in Q1, while South Africa should receive the device in late March.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor